Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Face to face locations this week

Face to Face locations for week beginning 29th March (sorry about the lateness!)

Mon 29/3 - Edgecliff, Katoomba, Double Bay

Tue 30/3 - CBD (Circular Quay), Springwood, CBD (Bridge St)

Wed 31/3 - Broadway, Leura, CBD (George St)

Thu 1/4 - North Sydney, Blackheath, St Leonards

Monday, March 29, 2010

Close the Gap Day: Review

The Close the Gap Day Info Session was held last Thursday in the NSW Action Centre on the 25th of March and received positive feedback from those who attended. The purpose of the day was to participate in Australia's largest national campaign which focused on closing the health crisis and poverty gap which separates Indigenous Australians from the rest of the population. The campaign hoped to inform Australian citizens of the ongoing devastating issues that burden the livelihood of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Amnesty International Australia and over fourty other non-Indigenous and Indigenous organisations joined together to acknowledge the suffering endured by Indigenous Australians and help to pressurise the government to commit to and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Rebecca Reeve our guest speaker for the event presented her research findings which focused on Indigenous poverty in NSW city centres, confirming that the 'gap' really exists. She delivered an eloquent and interesting seminar that significantly highlighted the various indicators that contribute to the health crisis and poverty gap. Her research suggested more development in community programs is needed to combat this widening gap, focusing on programs and services that are already in place and providing more funding to reach out to a larger number of Indigenous people suffering in city centres.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good News: Retired Iranian Scholar released on bail

Amnesty International is relieved to hear that Dr Mohammad Maleki was released on bail on the 1st of March 2010. He had apparently been detained for his criticism of the conduct of the disputed presidential election in 2009.

To read more go to

To find more good news stories from the Individuals at Risk Program go to

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Update on Father Ly in Vietnam

There have been some developments in the case of Vietnamese human rights activist and Catholic Priest Father Nguyen Van Ly in recent days. Father Ly has been the subject of an Amnesty Individual at Risk case file for a number of years.

Father Nguyen Van Ly, who is serving an eight year jail term for spreading “propaganda” against the state in 2007, was yesterday released for a period of 12 months on humanitarian grounds to receive medical treatment. Nguyen Van Ly’s health has rapidly deteriorated in prison. He suffers from partial paralysis following a stroke in November last year and doctors have also discovered a brain tumour.

He will remain under surveillance during the temporary release period while he lives at a house for retired priests in the diocese of the Archbishop of Hue, in central Vietnam, where he has previously stayed.

“Father Ly should never have been detained in the first place. His release should be unconditional and permanent and he should be allowed to receive proper medical care,” said Amnesty International’s Vietnam researcher Brittis Edman. “This small positive step is happening against the backdrop of a deteriorating human rights situation, with 16 dissidents imprisoned in the last six months alone, and dozens more currently detained for criticism of government policies.”

(Full story available at

Monday, March 15, 2010

F2F team locations for the week commencing 15th of March

Monday 15th March: Rose Bay, Bondi Beach

Tuesday 16th March: Gladesville, Liverpool

Wednesday 17th March: Charring Cross, Randwick

Thursday 18th March: CBD Farrer Place

Friday 19th March: Kingsford, Pyrmont

Call for expressions of interest: INC

The International Nominations Committee is a committee of four people established by the Board to provide a transparent and independent process for selection of the Amnesty International Australia (AIA) delegation to the International Council Meeting (ICM) and for other international Committees and appointments

The Board is currently seeking expressions of interest from members of AIA to serve on this committee until the conclusion of the ICM in 2011.

The criteria for appointment to the Committee are as follows:

· knowledge and practical experience of ICMs and international meetings in AI;
· knowledge of AIA;
· a balance of the sexes;
· a balance in degree of association with the current National Executive Committee (the Board);
· proven good judgment, impartiality, and common sense in selecting people for tasks.

To be a member of the Committee you must be a current financial member of AIA and you are ineligible for consideration as an ICM delegate.

Members interested in serving on this Committee are invited to email a brief expression of interest addressing the criteria to by 5 pm on Friday 26 March 2010.

Please note that membership on the Committee is unpaid and undertaken in a voluntary capacity.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Death Penalty Legislation for Australia

Amnesty International welcomes the passage today of historic legislation that confirms Australia’s opposition to torture and the death penalty.

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Bill 2009 passed through the Senate today without amendments. This final step in the legislative process means that no state in Australia can reinstate the death penalty for any crime.
As well, Australia has now explicitly prohibited the use of torture, formally affirming Australia’s position that torture is never acceptable under any circumstances or at any time.

Explicitly defining and prohibiting torture in Australian legislation brings the country further into line with its international obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

"The death penalty and torture are unacceptable practices. Now they cannot be engaged in by Australian authorities for any reason," said Katie Wood, a spokesperson for Amnesty International. "The use of torture or the death penalty is an affront to human dignity and it is a fundamental breach of human rights."

(Info taken from Amnesty International media release. Follow the link for the full release:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Face to Face Locations week commencing Monday 8th March

Monday 8th March: Balmain/ CBD Hunter St

Tuesday 9th March: CBD King St/ Newtown

Wednesday 10th March: Gordon/ Linfield

Thursday 11th March: CBD Park St/ CBD Eddy Ave

Friday 12th March: Chatswood/ North Sydney (Mount St, Mall St, Walker St)

Friday, March 5, 2010

NSW Community Campaigner Update 4 March

NSW Branch Annual General Meeting (BAGM) 2010

BAGM will be held at the NSW Action Centre on the 16th May - Please keep a look out for more information, we would love your attendance.

Travelling Branch Committee Meeting

The April Branch Committe Meeting will be held in the Blue Mountains. The details for the venue time and date have not been confirmed as yet, so please check out the blog over the next few weeks for this information.